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This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

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Jan. 25th, 2006 | 04:44 am

Because business with China is so damn lucrative, not even Google is immune to China's demands for censorship. It's extremely disappointing that no one is taking a hard stance against China and their ongoing efforts to curb free speech. It frustrates me that their government can get away with bloody murder and countries like the US can simply turn a blind eye to what's going on over there, simply because it would be bad for business.

Watching the Tiananmen Square protests unfold on TV is something that I can still remember quite clearly - it's something that's stayed with me since I was a kid. Just days after the election here in Canada, people have been speaking openly about their disappointment with the election and the results; yeah, I'm not happy about our new PM either, but it's times like these that I feel extraordinarily lucky just to be citizen of this country, and to have the freedom to voice my own opinions, whatever they may be.

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Comments {8}

douglasbot

from: douglasbot
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
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Then of course there is the US government slowly but surely taking away civil liberties. A little from column a. a little from column b.

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060119-060352

This along with illegal wiretapping of phones. we live in some pretty crazy times.

The new canadian conservative government isn't a majority though is it? So thats something. I've heard some news about rampant corruption in the liberal government though which led to the swing to the right...which i guess just goes to show absolute power corrupts absolutely no matter which side of the coin.

Fill me with political news keaner.

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from: tthero
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4645500.stm

From an outside standpoint, it looks like the Conservative government might be short lived and ultimately ineffective (from their point of view), Liberals are expected to come back with avengence, and hopefully won't pull a Kerry.

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from: tthero
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
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http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060119-060352

Go Google. Stand up to one oppressive government, make deals with another.

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Zephyrus

from: twig_tea
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
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The corruption, as far as I know, was actually exposed from the Chretien days. Paul Martin, the now-ex liberal PM, was the minister of finance in the previous reign of Chretien, so it was hard to not blame him. There were other scandals too... When the liberals were elected two years ago, they had a minority, and the talk (on Rex Murphy's show, anyway) was that Canadians wanted to send a message to the liberals that they were on thin ice. Well, apparently the ice cracked.

I'm kind of disappointed really. I thought the liberals did a really good job last term; there was a lot of spending in really great places, and the NDP budget was approved so there were tax cuts for low and middle income families (which the Conservatives want to revoke), and there were some great financial settlements made for First Nations peoples. Not to mention Gay Marriage. Of course, none of that stood out against an onslaught of scandals.

Now that Paul Martin's out, we can hopefully get a charsimatic guy in the Liberal party leader role, and once the conservatives screw up (really only a matter of time), the libs can come back and Canada will again be as it should.

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Kean

from: music_slut
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it's a Conservative minority. We'll see how things will unfold in the next couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that the Bloc and the NDP will be working to keep the Tories in check for the most part. The instability of a minority probably won't help our economy any, but on the plus side it does do something important - encourage discussion between the parties, which is something that we don't nearly have enough of. People are talking we might be back at the polls in another couple of years, and I'm not particularly looking forward to that.

I recommend the CBC's Reality Check website for catching up on some reading on the 2006 elections:

http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/realitycheck/

It's notable for the fact that the writers actually take the time to double-check the numbers and the facts based on what the leaders were saying at the time - for example, like how the Conservatives plan to cut the GST would really only affect people making less than $10,000 or more than $100,000, which pretty much excludes pretty much all of the working middle class (even poor artist bums like me).

It's sites like these that I find to be especially informative, considering how frustrated I was with listening to the candidates and leaders speaking in 30 second sound bites with no hard evidence or facts to back their statements up. Because I'm that sort of anal guy that needs, oh I don't know, PROOF of what they're claiming.

I've been following the erosion of civil liberties in the US with some interest too, but it's something I don't really feel comfortable talking about in a public forum like this - I hardly understand how the Canadian system works sometimes, so I don't feel like I can comment properly on what's going on in the States.

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passiveangel

from: passiveangel
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 07:00 am (UTC)
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I kinda worry about you guys up there. From what I can gather, your conservatives aren't nearly as bad as ours for the most part. And yet, at the same time it's said down here that Harper is expected to play nicer with Bush than Martin did. That doesn't sound good to me. But at least Harper had the sense to say that the Conservative minority win was not a freakin' "mandate." *smirk* Hopefully the Liberals will get their act together again better and faster than the Democrats have. *harried sigh*

Wire tapping, strongarming a conservative judge into the Supreme Court, Google going China... Somedays I feel like there's no one around here anymore with the teeth and strength to defend what's right.

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Kean

from: music_slut
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
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It's quite easy to circumvent the Great Firewall though HTTP/HTTPS tunnel services (it's even better if you have access to a VPN or ssh connection outside of China). But yeah, instead of just reading about it in books, this is definitely a case of knowledge = power applied to the real world, and it really is quite scary (to say nothing of what companies like Yahoo! are doing to assist China with the jailing of journalists).

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